Just Plain Bossy

Split personalities and hybrid warcrafting

Why do we segregate the playerbase

I stumbled upon a great read today over at MMOmeltingpot.com and it immediately had my attention because it’s a topic that I’ve long cherished, the dreaded Casual vs Hardcore debate. And I don’t mean I’ve cherished the debate because I’m trying to draw the line and clearly indicate who is what. But really, why do we try to label each other? In The World of Warcraft, we’re all playing the same game, with the same tools. At least the first half of that is definitely correct. I think. (Addons don’t change the basics of the game!)

“I think the base terms of hardcore and casual are grossly misrepresented. There’s raiders, and then there are non-raiders. There are people who just do 5 man instances, heroic or not, and then those that don’t even do that, and just stick to questing, leveling professions and doing soloable achievements. There are theorycrafters, followers of Elistist Jerks, browsers of wowpopular.com, people who spec from first principals and those that don’t have a firm grip on the direction of their spec (which Cata will help with, somewhat). There are altoholics who love to level, or maintain as many 80s as they can, or those that have 1 main and bank alt. There are people that prevent the progress of their toons at level 19, 29, 39, 49 or 59, just so they can gear up that toon for BG dominance (they’re called twinks in game, though you may wish to ask your parents about the real world term “twink”). Then there are world PvP, BG PvP and Arena PvP players. There are people that log 6 hours a week of game time or less, and they could fall into any of those categories. There are those that log 35+ hours a week, and they too, fall into any of those categories.

The player who logs 35+ hours a week, just leveling alts, gathering and leveling professions or running 5man heroics and doesn’t do raids could be considered just as hardcore as the player who 9 hours a week to do 25ICC heroic only. Both players might have a very good understanding of their specs, talents and spells for the level of play that they are at.

And out of game, you’ve got bloggers, blog followers, ranters, forum trolls and care bears (though that can be in-game as well).

Yeah, narrowing down the field of WoW player definitions to hardcore and casual is like to describe colour in terms of black and white.”

Quotes straight from linked post. Pathak’s homepage can be found here.

So what do we get by trying to categorize? Is it really that difficult to have a discussion with other players without “identifying” their loyalties? The great thing with twitter is that I’ve been able to chat with other players so far outside my own comfort zone and really get a feel for what they love about their game. It’s another amazing example of how the Internet can tear down barriers between people. And while I’ve waded into the muck a time or two (yeah that was me talking about pvp-geared-toons in my heroics giving me headaches, namely pvp-geared-tanks&healers) (oh and that #realid fiasco sure did raise some tensions between the different life-stories of the players) it’s been an eye-opening experience I’m eternally grateful for. While I knew a fellow guildee was a teacher in his real life, I’ve met probably half a dozen at least on twitter. While I have a few server friends that pvp a lot, I’ve actually been able to watch the discussion of pvp in a manner that made it… make sense to me. Thanks to twitter. And all this without FIRST identifying that player based on their play style. On twitter, all I care about is that they tweet generally interesting things and love the game to some degree. Really I’m not that picky. Look at my Warcraft list. It’s freaking huge.

I don’t think I have a point except to draw attention to this FABULOUS little review of what it means to play this game, which just highlights why I think these labels are pretty silly when used in arguments/debates/discussions of any kind, really. Although we may still have to work on our ability to talk nicely to each other, and not assume everyone sees the game from the same point of view. Let’s knock the labels down to mumbo jumbo first, then we can work on being nice, maybe?

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Filed under: pride, rant, warcraft, wow, , , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. Derevka says:

    Great find! Oh and thumbs up for use of “fabulous” in caps. 🙂

  2. Anna says:

    I recently had to address this on my blog as well, and basically have decided that “hardcore” and “casual” mean pretty much nothing. Totally agree with this!

  3. thewowstorm says:

    Nice! I liked this quite a lot. I totally agree.

  4. Nochecazador says:

    Very interesting. I’m so surprised that this debate has the staying power that it does. It’s kind of middle school to me. It’s a game, play at the level you’re most comfortable with and have fun.

    We can’t forget to have fun. Right?

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